Washington DC (Storch Report) — It began with a ceremony in the Rose Garden where President Obama appeared with the family of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter, announcing the release of their captured son in a swap for the notorious Taliban Five, and will now likely end with a reduced charge equivalent to a misdemeanor and no jail time.
In World War II a deserter charged with the equivalent violations under the UCMJ, as Bergdahl was given, a Court Martial would be held and if found guilty the soldier would be executed.
Begdahl was captured by the Taliban after deserting his post on June 30, 2009. He was freed five years later in a controversial trade for five Guantanamo detainees.
Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior in front of the enemy.
On Saturday, it was announced that an Army officer is expected to recommend Bergdahl face a lower- level charge equivalent to a misdemeanor and would be spared of jail time, and stay in the Army at a reduced rank.
It now appears the fix was in from the Rose Garden ceremony to the Army’s procedural political manapulations that watered down the charge to a misdemeanor allowing Obama to let a known deserter and likely traitor go free.
To make matters worse, after Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban former commanding officers and fellow-soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan reported that a 45-day search for Bergdahl was conducted and five to six servicemen were killed during the process.
The officer recommending the reduced charge was Lt. Col. Mark Visger, according to Bergdahl’s lawyer Eugene Fidell. Visger recommended there be no prison time or punitive discharge against Bergdahl and is now asking the case instead be disposed of non-judicially, rather than by any court martial. This took place during an Article 32 hearing presided over by Visger. The recommendation is a far cry from the original charge, “Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty” and “Misbehavior Before The Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place.”
This recommendation will now go to General Robert Abrams, the commanding general of US Army Forces Command, and it is he who will ultimately have the sole authority to decide whether the case should be referred to a court-martial.
According to former military lawyers now retired, ‘politics are at play.’ But why should this be of any surprise? As we have said in this column before Politics R Obama.
It is the name of his game, he knows of nothing else. He just took the name of the game to another level, while promising otherwise.
The optics are bad, in particular it violates the ethos of the solider. And as we tout justice in this naton of lost values, possibly allowing a deserter to go free, where is the justice for the soldiers who lost their lives in search of Bergdahl?
If General Abrams proceeds with the recommendations of Lt. Col Visger, as is usually the case in such proceedings, it will confirm that the fix was in from the get go and politics are and were at play — a shameful act for this Nation’s Commander in Chief.
It is but another shameful act to be added to a litnay of others that have taken place during Obama’s administration.